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Calumet Pioneer Historical Society Records

Identifier: spe-cphs

Scope and Contents

The papers included in this small collection reflect the goals and activities of the society. Administrative files of the society include attendance records, correspondence, membership cards, news clippings, press releases and the constitution. Executive Committee files consist of meeting minutes and lists of committee officers. Regular meeting minutes also appear, including those of the first meeting held on October 24, 1935. Appearing in the collection are also transcripts of speeches made by members of the society and guest speakers on topics of local historic interest. A small amount of material related to exhibits, artifact collections and presentations given by the Society is also included.


  • Creation: 1935 - 1967


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Calumet Pioneer Historical Society held its first meeting on October 24, 1935 in the Pullman Branch Library. The initial impetus for holding the meeting was the work of the branch librarian, Bernadine McLaughlin. Her objectives in bringing the community together were twofold: first, she wanted to establish a closer relationship between the library and the neighborhood it served, and second, to begin building up an historical collection on the community that would preserve the history of the area.

After the first meeting, a special committee was formed to give the group a name and draft a constitution. The main purpose of the Calumet Pioneer Society as stated in the constitution was to “perpetuate the memory of the early days in the Calumet region and to preserve memorials and exhibits of these days.” Membership was initially reserved for families and descendants of first settlers and community residents dating prior to 1895.

The society met quarterly and held its annual meeting in the fall. The meetings consisted of historic speeches and biographical statements on the community and its residents. At one point the society had over 200 members, but sometime during the late 1960s and early 1970s, it faded out of existence.


2 Linear Feet (in 3 boxes, including 37 photographic images)

Language of Materials



The Calumet Pioneer Historical Society was established in 1935 by the head of the Pullman Branch Library to help preserve the history of the region. The collection includes administrative records, executive committee and regular meeting minutes, speech transcripts, photographs and artifacts.


The files are arranged alphabetically by topic (Administrative, Executive Committee, Minutes of Regular Meetings, Programming, Speeches), and alphabetically or chronologically within each topic. Supplement 1 is housed in Box 2, Folders 19-22, and in Box 3.

Custodial History

These materials were gathered by early members of the Calumet Pioneer Historical Society and deposited in the Pullman Branch Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to Harold Washington Library Center from Chicago Public Library’s Pullman Branch and processed as part of a Dr. Scholl Foundation grant in the fall of 1982. Supplement donated from Pullman Branch by Paul Patraitis in 1995.

Related Materials

  • Calumet Region Community Collection
  • Fenger High School Records
  • Fernwood Methodist Church Scrapbooks
  • George A. Brennan Papers
  • Milk Dealers’ Association Ledger and Minute Book
  • Pullman Collection, Historic
  • South Chicago Newspapers Collection
  • Ton Family Papers

Separated Materials

The following artifacts are maintained by the Pullman Branch Library, 11001 S. Indiana Street

  • Anniversary badges (2)
  • Antlers
  • Arrowheads (45)
  • Axe head
  • Butter knife
  • Cigar case
  • Coffee grinder
  • Doll
  • Eyeglasses and case
  • Fans (2)
  • Fossilized bones (2)
  • Ice skates
  • Indian rattle
  • Nails (9)
  • Ornamental vase
  • Plaque, memorial
  • Ruler
  • Salt shaker

Guide to the Calumet Pioneer Historical Society Records
Original author unknown. Processed, 1982. Supplement processed by Johanna Russ in 2019. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875